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South India Tours

Kerala Backwater Tour

If you're yearning authenticity, this is the tour for you. From the city of Kochi, to the mountains, backwaters and beaches, you’ll stay in home stays – such as Dewalokam, Emerald Isle and Arakkal – that are extensions of peoples' homes and farms. In such places the whole family – and many of the villagers - are involved in preparing home cooked food made specifically for you, or taking you on walks, boat rides, swimming, or village shopping expeditions.
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It's not luxury – the beaches at the fishing village of Arakkal homestay are far from private or pristine. But you are immersed in the lives of Kerala fishermen and their families, and if you sleep under the porch at night, you will hear the waves crashing on the beach. There's the opportunity to take fairly chaotic cycle rides through the village (and half the village may join you) and Abbi and Mini are superb hosts and cooks.

Welcome to the real Kerala…..

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Kerala Culture Tour - Luxury

This tour is for people looking to get the ‘insiders’ tour of India, but with extra luxury and comfort. Travelling between stays has been kept to a minimum, and accommodation is based in small elegant hotels and comfortable homestays in out of the way towns, villages and smaller cities.

For example Aanavilasam is described by one of our guests as “the most luxurious place we have ever stayed in”, This plantation retreat is known for its good food and the generous hospitality of the host, Pirkko. Here you can take an early morning 3 hour trek in Periyar Reserve, visit a spice garden and go boating on the lake. Expect to see elephants.
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Philip Kutty’s Farm - a traditional Keralan backwater house owned by a Syrian Christian family - was described by one of our guests as “our favourite place to stay during the entire trip. Anu, our host, was a gem, the food was delicious, and the accommodations were gorgeous.”

You’ll have the chance to take a train, go walking with the hill stations, spend a night on a houseboat, explore wildlife nature reserves, and eat a range of local home cooked food. Best time to go Peak season (December and January) gets the best weather but is very popular, so make sure you book well in advance.

November is quieter but can be prone to the odd late monsoon showers and some humidity. Temperatures start to rise in February and can get hot and steamy by the end of April. May to early October brings the monsoons….

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Birding, Nature & People Tour

This tour is not just a birding tour.

Here you will get the chance to stay at different home stays, interact with the local people, sample home cooked food and understand the Keralan way of life.
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We are very happy to organise specialists guides for guests who are keen to view and study birds. For example this tour was described by one our guests as ‘’ Satyan proved to be a top notch guide and he is held in very high esteem by the birding guides we met. Bird watching with Satyan is a terrific experience. We were so pleased that Kalypso was able to fine tune the tour arrangements to make sure he was available. It is clear he is in big demand. We have commissioned him to produce a drawing and a watercolour painting. A more lasting reminder of a great holiday’’.. ….

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Culinary Tour - South India

Cook South Indian food as it is cooked at home. Kerala is the home of Muslims, Hindus and Syrians Christians, each offering a distinct cuisine. You can go to the market to buy the produce, catch the local fish and end up cooking a feast.
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Cook South Indian food as it is cooked at home. Kerala is the home of Muslims, Hindus and Syrians Christians, each offering a distinct cuisine. You can go to the market to buy the produce, catch the local fish and end up cooking a feast.

One example of this is the Spice Plantation homestay. The farm and forest gardens are managed using traditional organic farming methods. Plants and spices grown on the farm supply the vegetarian cuisine prepared for the homestay - coconut, pineapple, bananas, different types of yam, tapioca, spices such as pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla and other tropical fruit trees and medicinal herbs. Here you will pick the vegetables for the day and cook a meal. In Kochi, you can try seafood delicacies cooked at the home of our tour partner’s friends,

Faiza Mooza, the owner of Aysha Manzil homestay, is internationally renowned for her Mopla cuisine - Keralan Islamic cooking. The food is hot and spicy and is completely different to other types of Keralan food. You can begin your day here with an early morning trip to the fish market and spice merchant and end it with a wonderful feast. When you are at Emerald Isle you will experience the Syrian Christian food dishes such as duck roast and baked fish.

Our Keralan cooking adventure isn’t just about being in the kitchen. You can go for walks, boat rides, swimming, village shopping expeditions or cycling and interacting with the local people.

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